Saturday, September 10, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Most Beautiful Shakespeare Lure Ad Ever? (1929)

The Most Beautiful Shakespeare Lure Ad Ever?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in my case, this is the most beautiful Shakespeare lure ad I've seen. We're not talking catalog illustrations here but rather a full page ad on the back cover of the June 1929 issue of Field & Stream. I've looked through several hundred early “Outdoor” magazines in order to come up with what I hope are interesting ads for these weekly features and I must say that this ad is so out of the ordinary for Shakespeare, that I was somewhat stunned when I first saw it.

Shakespeare advertised a great deal in the earliest years of the twentieth century then went through long periods when advertising was rare. More often than not, only reels were advertised with little mention of lures. Very few Shakespeare ads were presented in full color before world War II.

Economic times were good and the Shakespeare Company apparently was enjoying that prosperity. The founder of the Company, William Shakespeare Jr. was a very astute business man and I'm sure he expected sales of these lures to provide a good profit despite the high cost of an advertisement of this quality. In June of 1929 there was no hint of the troubling times that were only months away in the form of the “Great Depression”

-- Bill Sonnett

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